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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

448

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

find out the nature of .the suspected poison so that he can at once administer
the appropriate treatment and., save the. patient's life. In a case where he
suspects slow poisoning by the administration of small doses at varying
intervals he should make a very careful note of all the symptoms exhibited
by the patient. He should also collect the vomited matter and twenty-four
hours' urine, if possible, and get them analysed for the presence of poison,
It is. always advisable to call in one or two brother-practitioners in consulta-
tion and to have the patient removed to hospital where the doctor in charge
should be informed of the suspicion, so that he would not allow anyone
except the hospital nurses to administer medicine and nourishment. If the
patient cannot be removed to hospital and if he can afford the expenses, the
employment of two trained and trustworthy nurses to take charge of the
patient in his house and also of the preparation and administration of his
iood and medicine for day and night will be a safeguard against further
administration of poison. If that arrangement is not possible, the only alter-
native left for the medical practitioner is to take some near relative or
friend in his confidence and inform him of his suspicion. The patient may
also be .warned against the danger, if he happeris to be an adult and in full
possession of his senses.—-                                                             _

.In every case of suspected poisoning a medical practitioner, whether in *
private practice or in Government service, must preserve the vomited
matter or stomach wash and samples of urine and faeces passed in his pre-
sence and likely to contain poison and suspected articles of food, drink or
medicine in separate wide-mouthed glass, bottles or jars with tightly fitting
glass stoppers. These bottles or jars should be properly labelled with the
name of the patient, the material preserved and the date of the examination,
and should be kept junder lock and key in his own custody till required for
transmission to the Chemical Examiner for chemical analysis., A medical
practitioner must also preserve any other evidence of the suspected poison-
ing, e.g. a bottle, cup or tumbler in which the poison is suspected to have
been mixed before administration, a mortar and pestle with which the
poison must have been powdered, or a piece of paper used for dispensing
"and wrapping the poison. If he fails in his duty in this connection, he may
render himself liable to be charged with causing the disappearance of (
evidence under section 201, I.P.C. (vide Appendix IV) .- - It must, however,
be proved that a 'medical practitioner did it with the intention of screening
the accused; otherwise it is merely an error of judgment for which he
cannot be held responsible. « - • ~ < • - • ,..*..'.,/:! . '.

• If a medical practitioner in private practice is convinced thnt^lhe patient
upon whom he is attending is suffering from homicidal poisoning,, , fee is
bound, under section 44, Criminal Procedure Code, to conmuinicate^A^ fact
to the nearest police-officer „ or magistrate.   Non-complimce
under section 176, Indian Pertal Code.   He is not liable for giving
the case has already been reported to tte police, by ,the village
-village watchman or any other officer required under the law,*tp
information vayfyf section 45, Cdminal Procedure Code,*
tioner is nat,b^md,ta supply information of l^.,owni^aic^,
magistrate, if he is sure that his j>atient is suffering from suicidal J^isoning, ''
since 'section 30$ of the Indian, Penal Code -vAffifc rafelfe Uja             of an

attempt to commit suicide is not-fcclmdect in *$& se©i*oids *>f the Indian Penal